Sometimes a little hot sauce is just the magic elixir you need to give that Bloody Mary the kick it deserves or pump up the flavor of your favorite tacos. Elixir Sauce Company's locally made hot sauces — Smoky Ghost, Garlic Jalapeño, Smoky Habanero, and Rum Honey Habanero — are ready to assist.

Smoky Habanero would be an ideal base for a barbecue sauce, with the Rum Honey Habanero as an option if you like a little more sweetness. Garlic Jalapeño has the bright freshness you might expect in a salsa verde, while Smoky Ghost delivers a sustained and not overpowering heat.

Smoky Ghost was the original concoction, according to Kris Pockell, whose father Kevin Pockell set the kettle to boil on the hot sauce project seven or eight years ago.

"He is one of those people who can eat the hottest of hot peppers and still somehow enjoy the experience," Kris says of his father, who also grew his own peppers for a while. "As self-proclaimed pepper heads, we tried hundreds of sauces looking for one that could satisfy both heat and flavor requirements."

Finding none that fit that bill, the Pockells had no choice but to make their own hot sauces, says Kris, who formed Elixir with his wife, Rebekah Pockell, and friends Zak and Ashley Steele. The company launched in spring 2021.

They still grow one variety of pepper — the ghost pepper — in their Spokane Valley greenhouse minus any pesticides or herbicides, letting nature do its thing, Kris says.

Ask for Elixir Hot Sauce at Backyard Public House (1811 W. Broadway) or in beverages at PRESS Public House (909 S. Grand Blvd.), or visit to purchase a bottle directly ($12).

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About The Author

Carrie Scozzaro

Carrie Scozzaro spent nearly half of her career serving public education in various roles, and the other half in creative work: visual art, marketing communications, graphic design, and freelance writing, including for publications throughout Idaho, Washington, and Montana.